Friday, June 11, 2010

Sweeping Clean

For the most part, Parisians don't get going early in the morning. But when they do, this is a sight they are sure to see: a city water pipe opened by a street sweeper and aided by a piece of carpet, directed to run down the gutter. The street sweeper follows behind with his broom, dustpan, and trash bin, scooping up the flotsam and jetsam of cigarette butts, food wrappers, and worse. It's a big job too; every day these guys (and they are mostly guys) sweep 2,400 kilometers of sidewalks. They wash 1,500 kilometers of roadway at least once a week.

I understand that the water used for this purpose comes from a separate system of pipes than that for consumer use. This non-potable source of water is also used for watering gardens and in city fountains (not the drinking kind). Apparently, it's a closed system too, meaning that the water is recaptured and used again although I'm not exactly certain how that works. What is clear? The streets after they're done. Thanks guys.


debbie in toronto said...

for some crazy reason that's one of my favorite things about Paris..the water running thru the gutters ...jumping over them...thinking that it seems such a fresh thing...neat

Starman said...

It always amazes me when I see these guys out there cleaning the streets. And picking up the trash seven days a week.

Virginia said...

That's a hardworking corps of "green men"! I laughed at the bottom photo because just last night I was cursing the computer screen as I noted the inevitable green trash can ruining a perfectly good shot of Place Dauphine! HA

PS Tuesday my toes will be on Paris soil! :)

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